How a Volvo Outdrive Duoprop Works

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How a Volvo Outdrive Duoprop Works
(Michal Zacharzewski)

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Outdrive DuoProp IPS Overview

The Outdrive DuoProp is a key part of Volvo's Inboard Performance System (IPS). This system, which includes the unique Duoprop and other outdrive components, was developed to upgrade boat propulsion from outdated designs and provide greater efficiency.

Many boat systems separate the engine from the propulsion system, which includes the propeller. IPS, however, combines these two systems.

DuoProp Design

One of the main benefits of the IPS and DuoProp is highly increased propulsion efficiency. This means that less engine power and fuel consumption. In water, propellers function better when they are designed to pull, instead of push. Because of the placement of engines at the rear of most boats, however, this propeller orientation is rare. The DuoProp overcomes this limitation by using two propellers instead of one.

Like traditional shaft-driven boat systems, the system features propellers that are fully submerged. This, however, is where most similarity ends. Instead of standard propellers, IPS employs two propellers per unit. These duo props are counter-rotating. One propeller spins clockwise, while the other rotates counterclockwise. This reduces wasted energy and results in better efficiency through the water.

Other Advantages

In addition to better fuel efficiency, the DuoProp unit also allows increased speed. Because traditional propellers do not use the best design, they lose significant effectiveness at speeds above 40 knots. In the past, expensive surface-drives were needed for high-speed boats. The DuoProp's counter-rotating design makes higher speeds easier to maintain.

Another major advantage of the design is increased handling. Dual props, in addition to the rest of the system, provide better low-speed maneuverability compared to traditional out-drives. When running at high speeds, the prop area is not obstructed by rudders, allowing a high degree of control throughout the turn.

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